A Venture to India (4)

It is evening and we are stuck in traffic. I have already written about the traffic, but now that I am in it at peak time (6.00pmish), trying to get to the India Civil Services Officers’ Institute, I have to admit I have never seen anything like it. Nobody sticks to the lanes . . . no such neat and orderly thing as that. Tuk tuks have an advantage . . . they can squeeze into the smaller spaces left by cars. Buses have size going for them, but that is also a disadvantage. Drivers toot, some even shake their fists out of windows but that does not create space. The sun is going down.

A Venture to India (3)

I go down tiled steps into a room without windows to have breakfast. I sit alone and read. This is when I miss home the most. I remind myself it’s only for a few days.

Mack left for New Zealand today and, although Shiraz has assured me he and Harpreet will look after me I feel as if I am losing a link to home.

A Venture to India (2)

The noise is phenomenal. The traffic weaves in and out….tuks tuks barp, cars toot, trucks grumble, carts drawn by mules clop along and cyclists weave in and

The noise is phenomenal. The traffic weaves in and out . . . tuks tuks barp, cars toot, trucks grumble, carts drawn by mules clop along and cyclists weave in and out of traffic that hems them in on all sides. I see near misses and catch my breath.

A venture to India

Being stripped of my sense of control is uncomfortable but grounding, and having to rely on others is not a sign of weakness but rather of strength. I gained these insights while on my first business trip to India.

Writers are like birds


Writers are like birds. Here’s why:

Most Saturdays, I go to a taiji class- which our teacher holds at his house. There are three of us and we practise for a minimum of three hours. We are all at various stages of competence but the rigorous exercise is wonderful. Over the years, we have developed firm friendships and our teacher is unstinting as he shares his knowledge and skills with us.

New insights into the Style Guide™


Last week Steve, CEO at the ecentre encouraged me to test the Style Guide™ on ESL (English as a Second Language) users.

We have friends who are Fijian Indian and who speak English when they need to at work and to people like us and then Hindi whenever they are with family and Indian friends.

Congratulations Eleanor Catton


The wonderful news has just hit the media – Eleanor Catton has won the Man Booker award for her novel, The Luminaries.

The changing world of publishing


There was a time when self-published books made readers lips curl with derision. Not any more.

Self publishing has earned its right to be taken seriously simply by the sheer volumes making their way onto ebook readers.

The writer is the creative master of words

This is a reference for users of The Style Guide. The type of language we use determines the style of a piece of writing.

Fact and argument will always have a higher proportion of nouns and adjectives to verbs and adverbs. Persuasive and emotional writing will tend to havea higher proportion of erbs and adverbs.

Nouns describe things and places like a bridge, road, things like house, hut and give people and places names like Taj Mahal, George.

What do you ask yourself before you start writing?


Once there were times when I faced a deadline without taking time to think about what I wanted to say, or how I would say it, I started writing. It’s a natural reflex when under pressure. I remember a journalist friend saying of another, ‘He interviews his typewriter then records its words of wisdom.’

He was, of course, being sarcastic. I had to work with the other journalist as well and I must say I agreed with my friend who always researched his articles thoroughly and interviewed the right people to get both sides of the story . . . comment and counter-comment.


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